Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia dedicates garden to gun violence victims

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — A pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is helping recent victims of the city’s gun violence epidemic while providing a space for the community to heal.

dr Joel Fein is co-director of the Philadelphia Center for Violence Prevention. Since its inception, he has worked to provide families with trauma healing resources. His latest project is a memorial to the victims.

“We love you always,” he said, reading one of the stones at the Philadelphia Gun Violence Victims Memorial.

“The CHOP PICU remembers you,” read another.

For Fein, the messages on these orange stones bring both hope and sorrow.

“These are names of people we lost to violence,” he explained.

The memorial at the Karabots Center for Pediatric Care in West Philadelphia includes a sculpture, butterfly benches, and the stones.

As Philadelphia grapples with an epidemic of gun violence that has claimed the lives of 40 children ages 18 and under this year alone, Dr. Fine to the leaders looking for answers.

“Being exposed to violence isn’t just about getting hurt, it’s about dealing with it and being it around you,” Fein said. “We know that if we can reduce the trauma and the impact of that trauma in our families and our children, they will lead healthier lives.”

The aim of the memorial is to give the victims a place of reflection. It was unveiled this summer in partnership with Moms Demand Action, a nonprofit focused on gun violence protection.

“It’s a full commemoration of the victims, but it’s also the hope of the families and the people who loved those victims,” ​​he said. “It’s about people, and every single one of those kids is someone’s friend, someone’s kid. We have to focus on that.”

By focusing on this, he has arrived at that place in the CHOP Garden, where everyone can wish for a more peaceful future.

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